If you are appearing before the Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts to seek or change an order for child support or alimony, then you will be required to fill out a financial statement. The financial statement is where you must disclose all of your income, assets and liabilities, and is what the Court uses in setting a child support or alimony order.
There are two financial statements - one to be filled out by those who earn less than $75,000 per year in gross income and one to be filled out by those who earn more than $75,000 per year in gross income. If you fall into the first category, then help is available to you online to complete the form through an interactive website. At www.MassLegalHelp.org/legal-forms, you can enter your information in response to a series of questions and the program puts your answers in the correct places on the form.
Of course, you will need to utilize this program and fill out your financial statement before your scheduled court date, rather than waiting until you get to the courthouse to hand-write the form. Preparing your financial statement in advance of the hearing is always the best practice, as preparing the form at the courthouse is sure to result in errors. An error on your financial statement can have significant consequences if your case proceeds to trial later, as incorrect information on the form can be used against you to try to convince the Court that you do not tell the truth. If you are representing yourself (and thus to not have an attorney to help you fill out the form), this interactive website may be useful to you.